The Future of Food Needs to be Safe: Edible Insects

As the global population rises, there is an increased need to adequately feed the world. All this has prompted a heightened interest in exploring new sources of food that are both nutritious and environmentally sustainable. Some of these new food sources are explored in an upcoming FAO publication entitled, Thinking about the future of food safety, a foresight report slated for release in early 2022. One such food source that has garnered steady attention recently – from media, consumers, national agencies to private sector – is edible insects.

While largely absent from Western diets, consumption of insects is not new. Insects can be a source of protein and fiber. While there is no denying the different opportunities and benefits that the edible insects sector brings, there are also some challenges that must be acknowledged and addressed. A recent FAO publication, looking at edible insects from a food safety perspective. Challenges and opportunities for the sector (2021) described the potential food safety risks associated with the production or farming, processing, and consumption of insects.

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